In celebration of Jo’s new book, Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules, Jo is sharing an excerpt from the book for this month’s newsletter.

Chapter 1 – The Five Rules of Disciplined Parenting

I’m sure you remember the overwhelming feeling of love you experienced when your child was first placed in your arms, that animalistic feeling of wanting to protect. I bet you also remember the tremendous sense of responsibility to get it right as well, the realization that this tiny being is totally dependent on you and you want to give him everything he needs and be the best parent possible. Throughout the first twelve months or so of your baby’s life, you were focused on meeting his needs for sleep, food, and stimulation, as well as all the other developmental milestones that come in that first year. Once you figured out what his various cries meant and a schedule to meet those needs, life with your little one made you a bit more confident, didn’t it? You felt proud you got through the first year and adjusted well, with thousands of photos to prove it.

Then she starts walking and one day, as you’re trying to get her to do something—perhaps get her clothes on, or get her in her car seat—it happens. She digs in her heels and throws a wobbly: kicking like a Premier League soccer player, screaming at the top of her lungs, throwing herself down on the ground. Hello . . . and welcome to the toddler tantrum.

But it isn’t just tantrums you have to deal with now. Suddenly you have a Mini-Me who tells you what she does and doesn’t want. She’s a bundle of contradictions. She wants independence—and she wants you to do everything for her. One minute it’s “Feed me!”—the next she’s refusing to eat. She wants to pour her own milk, but it spills all over. She wants to get out of the stroller and walk, but she won’t stay by your side and you’re afraid she’ll dart out into the street. She’s learned the power of the word no and uses it as frequently as possible: no, she doesn’t want to go to bed; no, she doesn’t want to share her toy; no, she doesn’t want to sit at the table in the restaurant . . . No, no, no, no.

Now what you need to give your child is more challenging than ever before. You want to give her all she needs in order to grow into a happy, healthy, productive adult with good morals, healthy boundaries, and the ability to function well in the world. You see the long-term vision in your mind. And you still want to be the best parent possible so that one day when she’s grown, she’ll look back and say, “You did a good job, Mom. Thank you.” Parents know that when you have a child you get the title, but here’s where you start to earn it.

Take a moment now and think of a picture that represents your desire to give your child the best. Is it you and your little one snuggled warm and cozy in bed while you read a story? Is it pushing her on a swing and her belly laughing in the wind with delight? Is it the classic holiday card with you and your spouse surrounded by your smiling children? Whatever it is, take a moment to visualize it. Freeze the image. See it in color. Experience how happy and content that picture makes you feel.


That picture is possible. You can have it. But it takes knowing what fundamentals you need to put in place, the skills you must have to get there, and the discipline to do what’s needed day after day for years. Remember, you’re aiming to be a conscious parent to your toddler, the person who consistently provides for your child. To achieve this, you have to make sure your child has:


    • The right amount of sleep


    • Consistent mealtimes with proper portions and the right kinds of foods


    • Opportunities for getting out and about, for physical activity, stimulation, and socialization


    • Early learning activities to help with child development


    • A clear sense of your family’s expectations for behavior, and appropriate corrections when necessary


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More in this category: Teaching Values » Exaggerating » Tantrums » Selective Hearing » Aggression » Are We There Yet? » Terrorism – How to Talk to Our Children About It » Encourage Reading » Keeping in Touch When Away » Discipline » Winding Down Tips Before Bed Time » Stepmom Struggles (Fake Cry) » Stalling Over Mealtimes » Child Anxiety » Sleep Transition » Work and Home Balance » Peek-a-Boo » Let’s Talk About Sex » Confidence for Pre-School » BACK TO SCHOOL » Encouraging Children to Come Out of Their Shells » Spring has Sprung — Let’s Get Active! » Meet the New SAHM: the Work-From-Home Parent » Kids Talk About Love » Turning Winter Blues into Sunshine for the Children » Spending Holiday Time with Family » Change the World, Give Back » Zero Tolerance Bullying » The 10 Dos and Don’ts of Back-to-School » For Playdates & Parties, Don’t be a Helicopter Parent » Disciplining Other People’s Children » Making the Most of Your Summer with the Kids… » Children and Accountability » Settling In Nicely » One With Nature » Valentine’s Day » Charging Into 2015 » 10 Holiday Questions (and Answers!) » Practicing Gratitude » Balance On the Work and Home Seesaw » And So To Bed… » Ready for Nursery » A Time of First Milestones » Eating Habits » HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! » When is YOUR Child Considered Potty Trained? » Child Abuse Prevention Month » With Love » The Art of Being » Holidays on a Budget » Dealing with Life Transitions » Halloween Crafts » Who Needs Sleep? Everyone! » How Much Attention Should We Give Our Kids? » Young Girls and Self-Esteem » Anxiety, Depression and Teens » A Personal Note About Food Allergies » Gay Parenting » Eating Out with Kids » Flu Season » Plan of Action » Baby, It’s [Getting] Cold Outside » Encouraging Your Child’s Social Skills » Medical Alert » Planes, Trains, And Automobiles: Travel Tips for Children of All Ages » Father’s Day Activities » A Mother’s Day for YOU » Limiting Your Child’s Screen/Tech Time » Letting Go: Mother, Not Smother » Getting Sexy Back After Baby » Introducing A Babysitter » Jo’s Tips For Being Penny-Wise This Holiday Season » Adoption Month » The Importance of Sleep » Parenting Solo » Stay Cool » Household Chores » Jo Frost’s Confident Toddler Care Book Excerpt » How Do I Play? » Jo’s April Editorial » Jo’s Editorial » When Technology Is Ok » Do You Know What Your Children Are Reading? » Calling All New (or soon-to-be) Moms & Dads! » Jo’s Three Nursery Golden Rules » “We Never Have Sex Anymore!” » How your child behaves is your responsibility » How to deal with your Toddler » My son has a problem in the toilet » My 15 month old son will not sleep » My 4 year child is telling me “I hate you” » Work with your baby’s body clock » Starting fresh for the New Year » Twelve Thoughts for Christmas » Naughty chair/spot correct way? » A New Mom To Be » Baby waking too often » How much sleep does she need » Pick me up! » DESPERATE for help!!! » Three year old daughter won’t let others help » How to get my five year old son to stay dry all night long » How to explain death » No more nappies?!!! » Need to Pack On The Pounds.. » Getting my 2 1/2 year old in his car seat » guilt trip or more serious? » My 12 month old doesn’t like to nap in daytime » Big Issues with my 15 year old » Time Out Follow-up » Tummy time! » How do I best help my 18 month old to STTN? » My son won’t use cutlery » 6 year old Reader » Getting my 2 1/2 year old in his car seat » Child won’t drink from sippy cup or cup… » 3 1/2 month old’s sleeping difficulties » Ouch!! » Transition to a new room » Fear of bed time » 10 months – too young to sleep through? » Is it too early for reins? » 3 year old and new puppy » Toddler forcing himself to vomit » Potty Training » I’m a nanny and need help!!! » Help getting my 18 month old to talk » How do I know when to start weaning?? » 3 1/2 yr old daughter wont stop SCREAMING!!!! » Naughty Step Becomes a Game » TEEN IN DESPRATE NEED OF JO’S HELP!!!! » Please Help! » Daily Routine » STUDY HABITS » Paci still a problem » 4 1/2 month old: Should he be eating? » Three-year-old son sleeps only in our bed »
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